University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Valerie Amaral of Acushnet was crowned Miss Massachusetts 2007 on Saturday, June 23 at the Bristol Community College Arts Center.
An English and political science major, Valerie's competition platform is "Inspiring Youth to Volunteer." She has raised more than $30,000 for non-profit and scholarship organizations and started an organization that encourages young people to share their time and talents with others, especially senior citizens in nursing homes. She will continue that work during her year-long reign as Miss Massachusetts.
"I have grown so much from doing that volunteer work,'' Valerie said. "Right now, I'm just very excited and looking forward to the work I'm going to be doing as Miss Massachusetts...I love UMass Dartmouth and I'm looking forward to representing it."
She also won the Miss America Community Service Award and the Children's Miracle Network Award for being the contestant who raised the most money for the charitable organization.
Valerie will receive more than $8,000 in scholarships and will compete at the Miss America Pageant later this year. A 2004 graduate of New Bedford High School, she was selected from among 17 contestants.
Valerie is the daughter Keith and Susan Amaral of Acushnet. Her grandfather, Conrad Richard, is a retired UMass Dartmouth professor of engineering. Her brother, Bradley, is a current UMass Dartmouth engineering student.
Photo credit: Dan Winske